Teenage girl forced to move to new town, attend a new school, leaves behind old friends and gets caught up with a new crowd that does not have her best interests at heart. Girl continues to hang out with new friends, despite misgivings because….they’re popular! And it’s cool to be popular! Okay, I get all of that. Sounds fairly realistic to me so far.
The author then adds a morality tale component to the story: Parents, even though they are not perfect, have your best interests at heart and you shouldn’t lie to them. Okay, I’ll buy that, too. It’s a good thing to sneak into a YA novel. And it is a point well-taken, because I think most kids do feel guilty about deceiving their parents, so it’s nice to see that portrayed in a YA novel.
The e-book version, as mentioned by other reviewers, needs some serious editing. I won’t list all of the issues because several other readers have already listed the problems in detail. There are also a few confusing issues regarding the plot that should be fixed, so the reader isn’t left wondering what is really going on and can concentrate on the story as it moves forward. Why did they have to move? Why so much talk about the old neighbor and then she just sort of falls out of the story? One party results in a gang rape, horrible car crash and a meth bust? Really? I suppose it could happen and probably has happened, but still…And what is up with Carol? If I’m supposed to believe that she is really overcome with that much remorse, I need to know more about her character. The one part that I didn’t have an issue with, but some other readers did, was the whole mom-thinks-malls-are-evil thing. I didn’t have an issue with that, because I actually know a woman like that. I think it’s just an overreaction to all of the anxiety caused by trying to raise a child in today’s society.
The book’s premise isn’t bad; it just needs work. The writing can be stilted, the proofreading is atrocious, and the ending is horrible. The reader would have been better served if there was less time spent on moving at the beginning of the book, and more time spent on the aftermath of the party. There is potential here; I would like to see the author rework this and try again. At the same time, I am not at all interested enough to read any upcoming sequel.
I was glad that the author included resources at the end of the novel.
I am afraid that this is going to be a short review, primarily because I have already given up my copy of this book, and now I cannot go back and quote the passages that I had marked.
The short of it is that Violet Yates has talent. There are several poems in here that are quite, quite good. There are some others that are trite or where the rhyme is too forced. Most of the problems I see, however, are common and easily solved with more reworking of the poems or with a stricter eye toward selecting which works to publish.
I enjoyed the read and would look forward to other collections by Ms. Yates.